DVD Review: Apartment 143

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It used to be that, when I thought of quality horror movies, my first thought was to the IFC, who was putting out a lot of top end stuff like Home Movie. But now, I’m getting to think a lot more of Magnet, who sent over a copy of”Apartment 143″ for us to review, and in the process gave us a ghost story with some great punch.

“Apartment 143″ takes us out to the titular residence, where a host of parapsychologists have set up shop to investigate recent incidents happening there since some new people moved in. The phone rings, but there’s no one on the other end. Just when you start thinking things like “autodialer” and “Federal do not call list”, the incidents step up. Things go flying around the room, light bulbs explode, and the paranormal research team will be hard pressed to keep up. Armed with a litany of ghost-detection gear straight out of the SyFy Channel–EMF detectors, infrared filming, motion detectors and more–the crew may be able to get their heads around what’s going on in Apartment 143. But will they be able to do so before whatever’s in there decides it would rather be alone…by any means necessary?

The ghost hunting phenomenon has been catching on lately–the success of SyFy Channel shows as well as movies like the still-going “Paranormal Activity”series contributes to this–and seeing it put to such solid effect in Apartment 143 is a thrill indeed. Better yet, they really ramped up the scares on this one; this is not a movie you’re going to want to watch alone with the lights out unless you do indeed like your movies scary. The last half hour on this one alone is like a series of shots in the gut, and has a powerful overall effect.

There are only two real downsides to “Apartment 143″: one, it suffers from some major predictability in some parts. The last three minutes, for example, are so telegraphed they might as well come with a Western Union logo on them. Two, some of the less predictable parts suffer from a serious lack of exposition. I’m still not a hundred percent sure just what was going on in some parts of this movie.

Aside from these somewhat substantial problems, the rest of “Apartment 143″is a disturbingly potent horror piece, and absolutely one to keep in mind for your upcoming Halloween-related horror movie needs. We’re getting into horror’s prime season right now, and having something on hand like “Apartment 143″ will be no mean feat, and quite a treat indeed.

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